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Be Grateful…for Dad’s Death?

Father in Hospital BedKey Bible Verse: “Death is swallowed up in victory …” How we thank God, who gives us victory.”  1 Corinthians 15: 54,57

Bonus Reading:  2 Corinthians 5: 4-9

I sat on my father’s hospital bed, his body beside me.  I reached over and lifted off the now useless oxygen hose that awkwardly hung around his head.  Three tubes protruded from his abdomen.  The silent heart monitor clung to the index finger on his left hand.  His unseeing eyes stared heavenward.  My father’s dead!  I was stunned.

I thought my prayers had failed.  Through the five days of Dad’s hospitalization, I’d prayed for a miracle.  Still, death prevailed.

Later, as I walked out the revolving hospital door, a beautiful late May afternoon greeted me.  A robin sang in a nearby tree. A row of forsythia bushes was in full blossom.  The brilliant sunshine warmed my tear-stained cheeks.  I opened my eyes to a fatherless world.  Then, a thought occurred to me: What a beautiful day to die.  Dad would have been grateful to die today.

As I walked to my car, I said a prayer of thanks that Dad didn’t suffer long, that his hospital room was filled with family, that his departure had been peaceful and pain-free.

I thought of Jesus’ words, “Don’t be troubled” (John 14:1).  How could my broken heart be thankful?—yet I could.  Gratitude is a choice.

—Cliff Denay Jr. in Michigan


My Response: Jesus’ charge (above) came right after announcing His imminent departure.  How is gratitude linked to trust?


Thought to Apply:  The pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts, nevertheless they set aside a day of thanksgiving .—H. W. Westermeyer



Prayer for the Week: Move me, Lord, beyond appreciation for desires granted to gratitude for all Your wisdom allows.

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